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Goals Soccer Centres – argues “significant strategic progress” & “early signs of turnaround”, so why are the shares lower?

By Steve Moore | Tuesday 12 September 2017


Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.


A half year 2017 results announcement from Goals Soccer Centres (GOAL) is headlined “significant strategic progress in the period, early signs of turnaround”. The shares have responded… er, currently at 93.5p, more than 10% lower!...

The results show, on revenue of £17.4 million (+2.5% adjusted like-for-like), a pre-tax profit of £2.6 million and earnings per share of 2.7p, down from a corresponding 2016 period 4.5p.

The company states “some clubs underperforming which have not received the required level of arena investment”, but “good early signs of growth from our investments in the Arena upgrade programme and the Clubhouse 2020 pilot sites”. However, it then notes that, with 51% of the estate (238 arenas) having been upgraded and five Clubhouse 2020’s rolled-out, “no further arena upgrades planned for H2; approximately 50 arenas to be upgraded, as part of our annual maintenance programme, during 2018” and there to be “a full evaluation to optimise the investment returns from the initial five pilot clubs”.

Hmmm. This also with, particularly £4.6 million of capex more than depreciation and a £2.3 million net working capital outflow, seeing net debt increased by £4.6 million to £28.6 million and it stated “we are also highly cautious about the pressure on consumer spending”.

The result is anticipated growing like-for-like sales in the second half “at a slower rate than originally expected” and “the overall turnaround to profitable growth is taking slightly longer than anticipated”. The company attempts to mitigate “with our exciting developments in the US and clear signs of growth from the investments we have made, we are confident that we can deliver improved returns, over time, for Goals shareholders”, but for now it’s clearly tough operating conditions and (further) forecast downgrades ahoy. Avoid.


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